Demand continues for affordable homes

Demand for houses in the affordable sector of the property market continues unabated, says Rachel Vickers, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Kairos, which operates from Jabulani, Soweto selling affordable homes across Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and the Western Cape. 

“Most of our buyers are between the ages of 25 and 35, in fact the majority of buyers (61%) are between the age of 18 and 35,” says Vickers. “Around 28% of the buyers we deal with are between 36 – 49 years of age, while just 8% range in age between 50 and 64 years and 2% are pensioners.”

Vickers explains that the buyer profile of those purchasing affordable homes varies based on the type of homes being sold and the life stage the family finds themselves in. “Most families with a mother and father in the family unit are looking for freehold (full title) homes. It is important for them to have reasonably sized stands from about 250m². Many developments have much smaller stands - anything from 150m² to 200m² - but buyers in the affordable market are starting to voice their expectation of larger stands allowing for expansion over the years. Traditional ceremonies cannot be conducted on sectional title land, therefore a family oriented towards the traditions of their tribe will always elect to buy a home that is full title,” she says.

Talking about trends in the affordable sector of the market, Vickers notes that sectional title is a new concept in the townships with very few complexes represented. “We are however starting to see a significant shift in the appetite for sectional title properties, especially among families with a single parent who works. The benefits of sectional title properties, for both investors and owners alike, are starting to change the mindsets and landscape of affordable housing in the country,” she says.

“In Soweto for example, there are 166 900 freehold homes and just 973 sectional titles. The upcoming developments within Soweto both commercially and residentially will see over 30 000 homes added to the precinct in the next five to 10 years. This market is booming.”

Vickers points out that the successful sectional titles being built are predominantly free standing homes as opposed to apartments or semi-detached homes. The walk-ups, she says, are mainly owned by investors for rental to those who are not able to enter the property market as owners.

Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that South Africans have a deep seated desire to own their own property. “Location is just as important for buyers in the affordable space as it is for any other buyers, with proximity to hospitals, transport nodes, retail facilities and schools rated as the most significant. Safety for their families, especially their children is also very important to these buyers. This is why closed estates that have security features such as a guard house and a secure perimeter with electric fencing are sought after.”

Some of the current homes RE/MAX Kairos is marketing are properties within the Sharon Park Lifestyle Estate in Nigel.  This estate is being developed by award winning developer Johann Grobler of Hlala Kamnandi who is partnering with Renico Construction to bring freehold homes within an estate setting to the affordable market. Vickers says that buyers are given an opportunity to choose from eight different design styles and also 10 different floor plans to not only match their lifestyle but also their pocket. “This is the best value for money on the market right now. We have seen growth in the property prices at this estate of 13% year-on-year. The two-bedroom, one-bathroom homes start at R365 000,” she says.

Vickers believes that Protea Glen Manor in Soweto is another great development catering to buyers looking for an affordable home. “This development is also being developed by Johann Grobler of Hlala Kamnandi and Renico Construction, and is an exciting sectional title development that offers a selection of two- bedroom, one-bathroom and three-bedroom, two-bathroom freestanding homes.” The three- bedroom homes have an en-suite bathroom leading off the main bedroom. Protea Glen Manor is within walking distance of the Protea Glen Mall and is close to excellent transport routes. The two bedroom homes are selling for R445 000 and the three-bedroom homes are priced at R545 000.

According to Vickers, the best features of these developments are the finishes and important additions that are included at no extra cost as is the case in some affordable developments. This includes features such as space for a double-door fridge, a stove included, a washing machine point included, built in cupboards and much more.

“We call these houses a ‘plug and play’ home - meaning from day one the buyer can live comfortably in the home with all the finishes already in place. Many homes in the affordable market are sold as shells and many buyers still need to invest money in finishing certain aspects such as tiling/carpeting, burglar proofing, towel racks, medicine cabinets, curtain rails and the like,” Vickers says.

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